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Poster: unclejohn52 Date: Jul 29, 2011 9:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: TDIH (perhaps) & SOTOTW

The song has a long history, deeply rooted in the blues. (There's a pretty long wiki entry on this:

I have not heard Howlin Wolf's version, but my guess is that Clapton and Cream probably did, and based their straight-up blues version on his. The GD version, on the other hand, is a unique spin, and reading through the list of people who covered this song, I'd bet their version is more akin to Doc Watson or Bill Monroe.

edit: For me this show is interesting for historical reasons, and for the its rarities: Standing on the Corner and You Don't Have to Ask (only 5 performances on record) and No Left Turn Unstoned aka Cardboard Cowboy, aka The Monster - very unique for lyrics and music by Phil, only performed twice.

From the clearlight web site:

Phil Lesh made the following comments about the song in a CD issued as bonus material with some copies of his book "Searching For The Sound":

"This song here is one of the first originals that we wrote (or that actually I wrote, 'cause I wrote the words and the music) ... This is known as 'Cardboard Cowboy' but it actually was called 'The Monster,' and I'm not sure why we called it that except maybe it was just so big and ugly and hard to play."
The title "No Left Turn Unstoned" comes from a sign in front of Ken Kesey's old house in La Honda. Bob Weir introduced it under this title in the show on 29 July 1966.

And in an interview with Blair Jackson in Dupree's Diamond News No 28, Spring 1994, there is the following exchange:
JACKSON: Have you written lyrics before?
LESH: Only once, but this [Childhood's End] came out a lot better than that one.
JACKSON: Which was ...
LESH: "No Left Turn Unstoned." [Laughs] It was a truly awful song I wrote for the Grateful Dead during the Matrix era - I think it was '67, maybe '68. It's on a couple of tapes I think. It's so God-awful I can't even listen to it to find out what it was like. [Laughs]

This post was modified by unclejohn52 on 2011-07-29 16:14:10